VP Chilima’s Speech At The Virtual Engineers Conference

Republic of Malawi

SPEECH BY RT. HON. Dr. SAULOS KLAUS CHILIMA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI; MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT AND PUBLIC SECTOR REFORMS AT THE VIRTUAL ENGINEERS CONFERENCE ON 26-02-2021 AT OVP BOARDROOM, CAPITAL LILONGWE

CHILIMA: This conference  marks a major milestone in the history of the engineering profession in the country
  • Honourable Nancy Chaola Mdooko, Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works
  • Mr. Patrick Zimpita, Principal Secretary – Ministry of Transport and Public Works
  • Eng. David Mzandu, Chairman of the Transition Committee of the Malawi Engineering Institution and your committee
  • Mr. Aric Salima SC, Chairman of the Electoral Panel –and your panel
  • Members of the Malawi Engineering Institution, here present
  • Members of the media here present and those covering this event virtually
  • Distinguished invited guests
  • Ladies and gentlemen

It gives me great pleasure and honour to virtually preside over this important function this morning on behalf of His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi.

My task this morning is to address and open the Malawi Engineering Institution Annual General Meeting from the Office of the Vice President here at Capital Hill.

We will have to continue doing this as we all put our efforts together to fight COVID 19 as well as find means to continue living with COVID 19 just like we are doing this morning.

I am fully aware that this conference  marks a major milestone in the history of the engineering profession in the country.

This is an opportunity to celebrate the important contributions of engineers and engineering to sustainable development and good life. It is also an opportunity to usher in a new lease of life to the profession by electing the first ever MEI Board of Directors.

Hon Deputy Minister and distinguished participants

The meeting in progress

Allow to speak on the crucial role of engineers and engineering to the development of this country. Engineers are very critical with regard to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

It is engineers who develop and implement technologies and systems. It is engineers who develop transport, communication, energy, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and other various infrastructures such as roads and bridges.

It is engineers who come up with innovations that benefit the people and enable them lead a better life among other activities. Therefore, it is against this background that Government has been in the forefront in ensuring that our engineers have the space to be able to offer the best services in the country.

Hon Deputy Minister and distinguished participants

Recently, we have witnessed infrastructure failures. For example, failed bridge embankment at Chapananga in Chikwawa, collapsed Biti Kalanje bridge in Mangochi and many other project failures, not to mention poor quality infrastructures that have mushroomed in our towns and cities.

Therefore, the ever-rising stakeholder expectations and an increasing desire for quality in engineering infrastructure provides a reasonable justification that this new lease of life to the engineering fraternity, will bring in the much-needed competence, professionalism, quality and ethics.

The Tonse Administration led by His Excellency the President, denotes that the engineering profession ought to be at the core of delivery of an enabling environment for economic development.

Indeed, the engineering profession is among the pivotal professions that are key to the attainment of the Tonse Alliance Agenda and its services cut across our conjoined manifestos.

I would therefore like to urge those who will be elected into the MEI Board to commit to work closely with Government to ensure that the aspirations and expectations of the people of Malawi are fulfilled.

We demand nothing less than high quality professional advice and engagement with Government and other stakeholders.

In conclusion, as the Honourable Deputy Minister has mentioned, the Malawi Engineering Institution Act of 2019 repealed the Engineers Act (1972) in order to provide a stronger and more effective legal framework. This was done in order to address challenges and promote quality and ethical practice of engineering.

The new Board that you will elect today, should therefore be committed to the implementation of the provisions of the Act to ensure that the desired outcomes and benefits of the Act are accelerated for the good of the people of Malawi.

Hon Deputy Minister and distinguished participants

Recently, His Excellency the President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera launched the National Transformational 2063 Agenda linked to the continental/African-driven aspirations manifested in Agenda 2063.

The achievement of high quality standards in the infrastructure sector will clearly demonstrate the MEI‘s influence in the realization of the ambitious agenda.

I therefore, urge the new Board to commit to ensuring that engineers remain professional by maintaining their standards, acquiring new knowledge, upholding professional code of ethics and being patriotic to their professional calling.

In concluding my conclusion, let me congratulate you Madam Hon Deputy Minister and your staff, the Chairman of the Transition Committee of the MEI and his committee members, all stakeholders that have contributed to the realization of MEI for a job well engineered and delivered.

Thank you. And you see, the beauty of these virtual meetings in that in the next two minutes I will be in my office to attend to other business. We need to continue to do these even when Covid 19 is long gone.

With those few remarks, I now declare the AGM opened. I wish you all the best

I thank you for your attention. May God Bless Us ALL.

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